Ford and Volvo tap Tesla co-founder's Redwood Materials to explore battery recycling

Establishing a circular supply chain for batteries is a critical part of making electric vehicles truly sustainable and affordable, and that’s the mission of Redwood Materials, the battery materials firm founded by Tesla cofounder JB Straubel. 

Source: Redwood Materials

The company recently launched a battery recycling pilot in California that aims to “establish efficient, safe and effective recovery pathways for end-of-life hybrid and EV battery packs.” Ford and Volvo are the first automakers to directly support the program, but the company says it will accept all Li-ion and NiMH batteries in the state.

Redwood’s goal is to create pathways for end-of-life battery packs to be collected, recycled and remanufactured into new battery materials. “While the first major wave of end-of-life electric vehicles is still a few years away, Redwood and our initial partners at Ford and Volvo are committed to creating these pathways now,” says the company.

Redwood says it’s processing most of the recycled lithium-ion batteries in North America today—some 6 GWh worth, or the equivalent of 60,000 EVs, per year. The company is ramping its processes in order to support the battery market in identifying and creating pathways to collect battery packs.  

YouTube: Redwood Materials

Redwood plans to work directly with dealers and dismantlers in California to identify and recover end-of-life packs. The company will safely package, transport, and recycle these batteries at its facility in Nevada, then return high-quality recycled materials back into domestic cell production.

“Our goal is to learn, and share those learnings with the industry,” says Redwood. “We will demonstrate the value of end-of-life packs today and how we can steadily improve those economics as volumes scale up. Ultimately, our aim is to create the most effective and sustainable closed-loop system that physics and chemistry will allow for end-of-life battery packs to re-enter the domestic supply chain.”


This article originally appeared in Charged. Author: Charles Morris. Source: Redwood Materials